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Breath Held

Originally published through Church of the Holy Communion's Sacred Presence Blog


Breath Held

Waves come fast. Prepared, I grasp hold of what I can knowing I can’t control the ocean. Drowning was my specialty. Strapping my ankle to heavy bottom coral while asking for help was my pattern woven by habits. They choked the breath out of my lifetime. Time lines carved onto paths that twist and curve confuse you so I can’t be followed into truth. Held breath builds strength for lungs that will someday scream, “Stop” at me who strolls along as if all is okay. My parts, the ones who live inside of me, sit this morning in the shadows unwilling to play this game of hide but don’t be seeked. Weary, I untie my ankle from the coral. Effortlessly I float to the surface. Last flickers from dark sky’s stars, ease my welcoming back to breath. Buoyed by the fat of salvation I need not swim. Relieved my lungs inhale all that is fresh pulling in deep the calm of the night. Abruptly their longing to let go, did. Guttural screams ensued, as the heavens reached down their mighty hands to stir sound into a symphony of belonging. “Scream,” they said, “For your heart aches. Your being quakes. Real life shakes worn out roots. Old anchors tied to heavy coral cut, bind. They held tight when life’s fight was human made but you are not. Floating on this surface as moon begins to pack it in for the night, scream, sigh, slap the water until you begin to remember who you are. Already whole. Complete. Made in an image that only needs to be reflected on your path forward. The others, the ones you love, The ones you ache for, Must be set free to float under early morning moon, and feel the touch of last minute stars twinkling on their face. For this is life. Release roots formed from fear and control. Trees cannot grow from sources disconnected from reality. For now, float here until morning sun stretches her first ray warmly caressing your cheek, awakening what went dormant within. Hear the song of the seas echoing back your screams to let you know you are alive, held, and loved.


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